Mahmud may find berth in England bound squad

Published: Wednesday, April 20, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Dhaka:Even as the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announces a 16-member Test squad for the tough England tour tomorrow, all talk is centred on whether former captain Khaled Mahmud would find a spot in the touring party.

The 33-year-old veteran all-rounder, who is now in the camp for 20 probables in Chittagong last appeared in a Test match against England at home in November 2003, has been in prolific form, turning in solid performances for Dhaka in the National League this season and could emerge as a strong contender for a Test berth.

Mahmud has amassed 440 runs from seven matches at an impressive average of 55 and scalped 24 wickets in the domestic first-class competition.

Sources close to the selectors indicated that they are likely to pick five seamers for the tour that includes three three-day matches in the lead-up to the two Tests.

Young quickie Shahadat Hossain is certain to get the nod. Mashrafee-Bin-Mortuza and Tapash Baisyabeside are automatic choices while Talha Jubair's minor injury scare is a worry for the selectors .

Fledging opener Shahriar Nafees, could get a look-in as cover for Nafees Iqbal -- who has been suffering from a back pain. Nafees, who showed his mettle during Bangladesh A team's tour of England and Zimbabwe, will also fill the long-time absence of a specialist left-handed batsman in the side.

Bangladesh will leave England next month for their first full series with the first Test starting at Lord's on May 26.

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